What are the three things I hate the most? Voldetool, math, and sobriety. And what were featured on last night's horror-filled episode of Survivor Tocantins? You got it: math and The Chosen Boob. Nor was anyone drunk besides myself. It was too much for me. Instead of dictating this column to Little Dougie to type out for you, I staggered off to bed, or passed out on my living room floor; one of the two anyway, leaving Little Dougie with his fingers poised over my keyboard. A few minutes ago I woke up screaming. Little Dougie was still there, although his fingers had moved.
The episode began with the remaining contestants arriving back at Forza Camp, fresh from evicting Sierra, with Coach at his worst; smug, triumphant, and still convinced that he was running this game now clearly being run by Stephen and JT.
"I'm glad the drama's gone," said JT, putting at least three syllables into the word glad. First off, if there's no more drama, why should we bother watching at all? The sex appeal was gone weeks ago. Secondly, he's wrong; Dork Vader is still there.
Even though the person he wanted out was out, Voldetool was, to use his vivid term, pissed. Taj and Erinn had not voted for Sierra, and therefore were "cowards"! (What were they supposedly afraid of? Sierra, who couldn't bench press a strand of uncooked spaghetti, and hadn't a friend left in the tribe? Actually, by defying the resident psychopath, The Drag Queen Slayer, and making rogue votes, they had shown more guts than the others.)
But Lord Saurgrapes, who looks positively terrifying in "night vision," which brings out his psychosis, was livid at not being utterly obeyed. Last week, when no one but Debbie had voted how he'd dictated, he'd been licking everyone's butts, and thanking them for blindsiding his primary ally, Tyson. (Even Voldetool couldn't help being glad to lose The Nude Mormon.) Oh, there's a coward in camp all right, and his name is Voldetool. How can anyone sleep with this horror loose in camp? Jason Voorhies makes for a more comforting fellow camper.
"This is a time for The Warrior Alliance," said Voldetool, sounding a bit like Bud Collier announcing "This looks like a job for Superman!" on the old radio version of Superman, 70 years ago, "There's a reason why we have a name." Yes, so you'll know which imaginary alliance you're referring to. There's only one genuine alliance in this game, Team Mancrush: Stephen & JT, with Taj as mascot. (If Taj were a full-fledged member of Team Mancrush, I'd have to call it something else, and she would have voted for Sierra.)
But Dork Vader was in full bloom; the farce was with him, and he ranted for our - ah - benefit. "People that don't play this game even half as honestly as me," said the man whose every utterance is a lie or a self-delusion, "even half as bold as me, like we saw tonight, pisses me off." His "reasoning" is worse than his grammar. "Taj and Erinn. You know what? We're gonna run them through with a sword the next two votes. And I'm thinking Taj has to go next." Since he has no access to swords in Tocantins, I'm assuming he meant it metaphorically, and he is clearly oblivious to the fact that Taj won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
"You've got to let it go. It's going to drive you nuts." said Debbie to him, unmindful of the fact that he already is tremendously nuts. He's Brazil nuts. Or maybe she meant it would drive him back to Nuts, from Raving Insanity, where he normally resides. Norman Bates would call Lord Saurgrapes "a tad unbalanced." Debbie, his only true allay left, sees which way the Titanic is sinking, and decides to jump ship. Abandon Ex-Coach, all ye who camp here.
As the others are trying to get to sleep, Voldetool is sitting about muttering: "Cowards, cowards, cowards, all around me." Only a genuinely brave person would attempt to sleep near Dork Vader without an armed guard.
For us he said, "I don't care about the million dollars..." Good, because if the final two were Lord Saurgrapes and a lump of mud, that lump of mud would go home the richest lump of mud on earth, "I care about my integrity and honesty, and changing this game from start to finish. I've said that from day one, and that would never change." unlike his tenses, which change from dependant clause to dependant clause.
What does he think he's babbling about? He has lied to people's faces, not just in his ridiculous Baron Munchausen tales of adventures among Amazonian pygmies, but in flat-out lying about who said what to whom last episode, and he knows we know it. His honesty is a fiction; his integrity is mythical. The game is the same old game it's been for 18 seasons now, and all he's said from day one is how he can control people using only his eyes. Oh, and his "I don't care about the million dollars" is a lie. In short, Voldetool is now dangerously insane, and the producers should remove him from the game and arrange for his immediate involuntary commitment.
Debbie now sees the danger of being allied with Coach, who does nothing at camp but hold court. Really, he does nothing but sit and rave. He lets everyone else hunt, fish, gather, make fire, cook. He sits on his camp-throne and mutters about cowards and his own awesomeness. To the other people who are actually working while forced to listen to his bilious babbling, he seems a pompous fool. Actually, to anyone on earth, he seems a pompous fool, because he is a pompous fool, Gasbag Emeritus.
Debbie begins actively and energetically shoving Voldetool under a bus, which is a terrible thing to do to a bus. There could be kids on that bus, or me. (Well, maybe not me, as I have never been on a bus in my life, but don't throw him under a limo.) "I love him." says JT. Really, JT? But of course, Debbie is telling the other tribe members far more about Debbie than she is about Dork Vader. Is she trying a ploy on Voldetool's behalf, seeing if they're disloyals who would betray him, or is she just a treacherous ally who will stab her only friend in the back when it suits her? Either way, she's painting a target on her own forehead.
"I don't want Coach [sic] thinking for me." said Debbie wisely. Lord Saurgrapes can't even think for himself. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm on a tribe with you two, and I'm in an alliance with you two..." this is news to them, who judiciously say nothing, "And I give you my honest to God, pinky swear word on that, God strike me dead." The producers hilariously cut in a lightening strike sound effect on "God strike me dead." Well, by the Unalterable Laws of the Playground, a.k.a. The Recess Commandments, she hath invoked the "Pinky Swear," so she must be telling the truth. The only flaw in this is that neither Stephen nor JT is 8 years old.
Reward Challenge: The Survivor Auction. They do this every season. The players are each given $500 in Monopoly money to bid on items, some shown, some mysteries. They can't share money or food. Bidding is only in $20 increments.
Item 1: A big bowl of French Fries.
Taj bids $40. Debbie, the school principal, bids $50. Jeff reminds her that they can only bid in $20 increments. She revises her bid -- to $70!!! Debbie can't do simple math! Get your kids out of her school immediately! Debbie wins the fries, for $140, twice her insane bid of $70. Let's see; not only can she not do simple arithmetic, but she sets her pupils the nutrition example of paying $140 for a bowl of healthy, trans-fat saturated French Fries.
Item 2: Chicken Parmigiana with garlic bread.
I must admit; this looked so good, I wanted to bid on it myself, but then I remembered that my kitchen here has food, and bought at more reasonable rates than $140 for a single serving of fries. Voldetool almost soiled his pants at the sight, and paid $340 for it. JT had driven the price up with a large rogue bid, but then, he was probably personally acquainted with the chicken. Dork Vader saw some sort of significance that Jeff "hesitated" to close bidding. I think Jeff may become Lord Saurgrapes next target. Now that would be one hell of a blindside. "The 12th person voted out of Survivor Tocantins, and the next member of our jury, is -- Me!"
Item 4: a mystery platter. These are risky. It could always turn out to be a plateful of dung.
JT spends $160 for what turns out to be nachos with sides of salsa and guacamole.
Item 5: another mystery platter:
Stephen gets it for a mere $100. Stephen has not learned the most basic rule of Survivor Auctions: Never bid on the second blind item. Since the first one was okay, that means this one will be the booby prize. Sure enough, Jeff speaks those dreaded words: "This is a local delicacy." Local Delicacy is a code term for vile, inedible, gastric horror. Actually, as Survivor revolting foodstuffs go, Stephen got off lightly. It's a skewer full of chicken hearts. I was expecting rat colons. "Are they any good?" asked Taj, who didn't get that full, in fact overflowing, figure from ever saying "No thanks; none for me." Stephen, probably used to eating unleavened bread and bitter herbs (I know Herb, and boy, is he bitter!), pretends they're yummy, although I suspect he left a generous portion for Elijah. (By the way Elijah, if you don't show up pretty soon, we're starting without you.)
Last Item: A phone (Jeff gave the full model name and manufacturer, but since I'm not being paid by Samsung to product place, let's just say it was a phone.) with messages from "loved ones" back home. The no-pooling-money rule was relaxed for this item alone.
Everyone instantly gave all their money to Taj, in a sweet-but-incomprehensible gesture. (Actually, JT just automatically did it, which shamed the others into forking over their cash to the richest person on the team.) Why would Taj, who in the real world could buy and sell all of the other contestants combined, need to hear from her sports star husband and brood of spawn more than anyone else in the tribe? Doesn't Debbie miss her kids? Doesn't JT miss his cows? Doesn't Dork Vader miss his mirror?
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Folks who genuinely love their families don't go on Survivor. They stay with their families. People go on this show for three reasons: to win a million dollars, to lose weight, and to get a month far away from their families. Taj is a mystery. She already has several million dollars, she's somehow not losing any weight, and she appears to actually miss her family. What are you doing in Brazil, you weird woman, other than depriving some woman who has no money, weight she'd like to drop, and an obnoxious brood she's desperate to escape for a few weeks, of the chance to do so? Selfish!
(Incidentally, although having a couple thousand dollars to bid, Taj only puts up $20. Eddie, that's precisely, to the penny, how much she loves you. And that's how you get rich. You hang onto your cash.)
Anyway, Taj sobbed so loud all through her hubby's message that she didn't even hear his punchline: "See you back at the camp." Once Jeff has pointed out to her that he'd just said he's back at camp, after breaking Jeff's arm just above the elbow, instead of running back to camp, Taj runs over and hugs Erinn. Why? If Eddie George was waiting back at camp for me, I wouldn't be wasting time making a lesbian move on that bundle of sticks.
Jeff offers her a choice: have her hubby back at camp (and I do mean have him!), or go to Exile Dune, and everyone else's loved ones can be back at camp. What a fiendish choice - except - she gets to take Eddie with her to Exile! Jeff refers to this several times as a "sacrifice." How is that a sacrifice? If she had to go to Exile alone, and not set eyes on Eddie at all, that would be a sacrifice. Here the choice is, take your incredibly hot husband back to camp surrounded by a crowd of resentful tribemates and no privacy, or take him off to Exile Dune, which is as private as you can get when followed by a camera crew, and also make everyone on the tribe grateful? The only person stupid enough to have chosen Eddie at camp was voted off last week. Sure enough, Taj chooses Exile with hubby. Everyone goes nuts. We see Voldetool hugging Stephen, an oasis of nausea in the orgy of saccharin blubbering. (I don't do heartwarming.)
Playboy Dune: Cue the porn movie music. Taj's husband, Eddie George, is HOT! Smoking hot! Gay porn movie hot! My drunken fantasies hot! Why wasn't he a contestant? I'd have ignored even Brendan for this stud. And he must be super-well-hung, as he would need to be to go the distance he must traverse.
He could do better. In fact, he could do me! In my experience, there's no faster way into a man's pants than insulting and belittling his wife online for cheap laughs for two months.
I know he's famous among the sort of people who follow sports. I know I could have Googled him and seen what he looks like before now, but why? I assumed he would look like someone who would marry Taj, not like someone who could turn down Jennifer Lopez. (For having too small a booty?).
Part of the time at Exile Dune, Eddie wears what they call a "Wife Beater," but he never takes the hint, and smacks her around, saying "This is for you, Tallulah!" He appears to be wearing the tanktop because no sleeves could ever contain his massive shoulders, let alone his gigantic biceps.
It's almost too bad she doesn't take Eddie to camp. I'd have liked to see her introduce him to Lord Saurgrapes, saying "Eddie, this is the egomaniac who called me a coward and is trying to get me voted out. Why don't you take him over there, out of camera range, and have a 'chat' with him?" We'd soon see if there was a real coward in camp or not.
Taj sensibly says, "I just wanted to take him to the side and have a conjugal visit." Well what was stopping you? The camera crew? It would have been vastly more entertaining to watch than the show, even with her in it. And besides, sadly, CBS wouldn't have aired it anyway, so go for it. All the interview crew would have gotten from me under those circumstances would have been a hollered "I'm busy!" which would have been hard to understand, since I can't articulate too well when my mouth is full.
"You've lost so much weight." says Eddie. She has? What did she weigh before? 300?
Eddie also told us: "She looks great..." Oh good! He has extremely poor eyesight. That increases my chances. "She's dirty now. She smells filthy. You know? But there's something about the wild, you know, that makes you sexy, you know. It's kind of a turn-on, you know?" Eddie darling, I will go unshowered for a month (wouldn't be the first time), roll in mud, quadruple my weight, and smell like - well - like I usually do, if it will turn you on. Once you try extreme old age, you'll never turn the page.
How hot is Eddie? So hot that I still wanted him even after he said "You know?" four times in 15 seconds. (Eddie, you know, constantly, you know, saying 'you know' over and over, you know. It makes you sound like, you know, an inarticulate, you know, 14-year old, you know?)
Back at Forza camp (to Taj it's now: two's company, Forza crowd.), the others are now meeting their "loved ones." Wow! Coach has a "loved one," I mean other than himself. Who will it be? The only thing we can be certain of is, it won't be a woman.
Stephen is visited by his brother, who cinches the argument for being an only child. "You look great," Stephen lies.
"Don't eat me," Stephen's brother replies, revealing way too much about what went on in their shared bedroom growing up.
Debbie has a husband who looks like he was probably mildly attractive a decade back, which is more than I can say of Debbie.
A good long look at JT's little sister, well, a long look anyway, reveals why he's on the show. He's trying to win a dowry for her, and it better the whole million, after taxes, if she's ever going to land a man.
Erinn shows her dull daddy her stuff. "And now you know that's all you need," says Dad, preparing to reduce her allowance.
Lord Saurgrapes's loved one is his - wait for it - assistant coach! Not a spouse. Not a lover. Not a family member. Not that special Amazonian pigmy. Not a Survivor show staffer pretending to be his loved one because no one loves this gasbag. No. It's the guy who is paid to take his orders. I had to pause the DVR while I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. And since Vodletool has since been fired from his coaching job, this poor schmuck is no longer his assistant coach. In fact, he's probably the new coach, for which betrayal Voldetool will probably brand him a coward and a liar, and swear vengeance. I smell Spin-Off.
And what do we hear Dork Vader tell his padawan apprentice? "Guess what they call me in this game? Dragon Slayer. Because I'm slaying all their dragons. I'm running this frikkin' show ... I'm gonna be in that final two unless something crazy comes up." Something crazy has come up, Voldy, and it's you! The only person who calls him "Dragon Slayer" is Dork Vader himself.
Since he is paid to listen to Gasbag Emeritus and pretend to believe his crap, the assistant coach just says "I hope so." He probably does hope so. Anything to keep Voldetool in Brazil and away from him longer is fine with him. But had he challenged Voldy's insane claim to have "slain all their dragons," Dork Vader could have just pointed around him and said, "You see any dragons in Brazil? No? That's because I slayed them all."
Then Voldetool forced his poor lackey (in the old days at Universal Pictures, we called them hunchbacked assistants) to lift him up from behind, bend him over, push his legs up, and otherwise mangle him. "We're not doing weird sexual positions," said Lord Saurgrapes. Oh yeah? Hey, with Dork Vader, even missionary constitutes a weird sexual position. Still, I suspect they cut the shot of Assistant Coach piping in with "God no!"
Hyper-muscular Eddie George turns out to be a big wuss about snakes, scorpions, and spiders. I'd point and laugh and skoff, except so am I. Taj councils Eddie to be careful where he grabs the scorpions. Sound advice. Heed it, next time you're out grabbing scorpions.
It's dawn the next day, and Taj has that special glow and that bow-legged walk that signals the nicest night anyone has spent on Exile Dune since Stephen and Brendan were "spooning."
Taj blubbers to us, "Seeing my husband just ... just ..., it really helped me." Duh! It's helping Me, and I'm just watching. We even see him light her fire, unfortunately using a flint and a knife. (What kind of superhunk doesn't realize that, when the wife says, "Light my fire," it's supposed to be just a metaphor?)
At camp, everyone is saying goodbye to their loved ones, or in Dork Vader's case, paid companion. We got this priceless exchange, which I could never invent:
JT's Sister: "I'm wishing you could be with the cows."
JT: "I know. Me too." Maybe Survivor should have brought over one of JT's cows as his loved one. Imagine what the phone mesage would have been: "Moooooo," causing JT to dissolve in tears. "Thats ... That's ...[Sob!] that's my Bossy!"
Debbie tells her husband (who looks like he can not get out of Brazil fast enough to suit him): "It's changed me." Erinn also tells her dad "I've definitely changed a lot." What were they before?
I know I'm supposed to find all this hugging, sobbing, sniffling, and sentimental slop touching, but I have a low tolerance for familial mush, and I was getting pretty nauseous by this point. Enough!
Fortunately, they're finally sloshing out damp goodbyes. "You got a good woman there," JT lies to Debbie's husband's face.
At least Eddie got to say goodbye without having to deal with the fans and autograph hounds back at camp, or meet Voldetool. He got off lucky. (And I do mean "got off.") Taj and Eddie had this exchange:
Eddie: "I love you."
Taj: "I love you more." So it's a competition!
Taj's parting words to him were hilarious: "I won't smell like this long." Does she know Dork Vader has her marked for the next eviction? Eddie manages to reply, as he flees upwind, "I know," rather than "Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah," or even better, "No. Come back, you know, stinky. It's, you know, hot. You know?"
Back at Camp Forza, Day 32, the knives are out. Debbie is out to get Dork Vader. (Go Debbie!) Lord Dragon Breath is out to get Taj. JT is starting to gun for Debbie. The result? Some memorably inept quotes.
JT: "Debbie's opened up like white on rice." Please note that this sentence doesn't mean anything. The expression is "She's all over me like white on rice." "Opening up like white on rice" is gobbledygook, sentence stew.
But it pales next to Dork Vader's unconscious Freudian disaster: "I'm not trying to push Taj down your throat." I hope not. That would kill poor little JT. Is Gasbag Emeritus really the Dragon Choker? And also, that is exactly what he's trying to do.
As soon as Lord Saurgrapes wandered off to find "some wood," (which all concerned felt he should do in private) a Voldetool-free pow-wow was held, with Debbie lobbying hard to lose Dragon Breath. Don't toy with me. She asked Erinn what her "thought processes are." This stumped Erinn, who has no idea what "thought processes" even means.
"The talk is for Coach to be the next one to go," said Debbie, although "The Talk" was all coming from her.
Once Erinn wandered off, Debbie revealed her whole hit list itinerary: Dork Vader, then Erinn, and then Taj, forgetting somehow that the two people she's speaking to, JT and Stephen, are vastly more closely bonded with Taj than they are with her. She mistakenly thought they are about as loyal as she is.
Debbie inhales deeply, and then blows this huge load of smoke up JT & Stephen's butts (you can see the smoke on camera): "Honestly, you are two of the people that I care most about in this whole thing..." so they are among the people she cares most about, "...and I will do anything in my power for the two of you to be sitting there at the very end." Why? Wouldn't she rather that she be one of the two people sitting there at the very end? Apparently not, "If I have the immunity idol, and it's down to us three, I will give it to one of you, so I can be voted out." What possible motivation would she, or anyone, have to do that? To say it? Sure. But to do it? You'd have to be a whole lot dumber than either JT or Stephen to believe that one. You'd have to be Debbie-dumb. To give the boys credit, they don't laugh in her face when she offers to give to them the immunity idol they already have!
"You're an incredible person," JT tells her. Well, if you are using incredible to mean exactly what it does mean, impossible to believe, then yes, she's an incredible person.
Now they all don't trust Debbie. Don't get distracted. Stay on message. Vote out Dork Vader! The boys hustle over to tell all to Erinn. JT's mom may not have raised any geniuses, but her son isn't anywhere near dumb enough to think anyone plays Survivor hoping for third place.
Immunity Challenge: This challenge involved an obstacle course (which included burrowing under a low log), memorizing symbols, and doing math! Mark Burnett has officially turned his brain off and gone home. They should have titled this challenge "Go watch Smallville."Watching people memorize ranks well after watching paint dry as exciting TV viewing goes. But then, to add catastrophe to calamity, they included solving a math equation! Insane! I was told there would be no math. I didn't study. Burnett, do you know what I did the day I finished taking the last math course that would ever be required of me for my entire life? I held a party. Math is The Most Boring Thing on Earth!!!
And it means Debbie is sunk, because, as she proved when she made a $20 increase on a $40 bid by bidding $70, she can not do math.
JT can burrow like a gopher, while Taj is stuck forever under her log. She may still be there. She'd need a backhoe to gouge a burrow large enough to slink her through. JT is a half mile ahead of everyone else. Now I see why there's math. Otherwise, JT would have it in a walk. Stephen can not cross the balance beam, falling off three or four times. Is he drunk? Am I? (No and yes.)
But, Stephen is a "Corporate Consultant," a euphemism for "unemployed accountant." The math saved him. Stephen manages what Jeff calls "one of the biggest come-from-behind victories ever," but then, Jeff wasn't out on Exile Dune with Taj and Eddie the night before. I have to assume that Eddie likes giant lady butts quite a lot, and he must have a reason for doing so.
"One of us three is gonna win it," Dork Vader says to JT & Stephen. Maybe, but it won't be you, Voldy. He even continues to lobby Taj's two best friends to oust Taj next. If he had met Eddie George, he'd have told him, "You've gotta help me vote out Taj next. She's a coward." Oh how I wish he had.
JT, Stephen, and Taj can't believe that Timbirra, with their two-to-one advantage over Jalapeno back at the merge, hasn't picked them off yet. The only person they've lost has been Joe, and that doesn't count, as he had to leave when his leg caught leprosy or jungle rot or something. His leg has probably been amputated by now. Fortunately, he still has two left.
But the idiot Timbirrans, led by Dork Vader's irrational vendetta against all women, have been too busy picking each other off, and Jalapeno is now actually running the game, Lord Saurgrapes's boasts to his lackey notwithstanding.
Now, of course, the show can't go to Tribal Council with our being sure who will be sent home, so a quick scene is included in which Stephen questions the wisdom of sandbagging Debbie, since it means two more days of putting up with Voldetool. Wise thought. So wise, I fell for it, and allowed myself to hope. I was like a fervent John McCain voter at 7:59 PM PST last election night. I was in for a big disappointment.
Tribal Council: Please vote out Dork Vader!!!!!
Oh, must I recount more of Lord Saurgrapes's insane, delusional blather? When calling Voldetool "Dragon Slayer" comes up in council, we got this exchange:
Dork Vader: "I didn't come up with that, by the way."
Jeff Probst: "Let me guess: some chief in a small village..." Taj explodes with laughter. So did I. Nice one, Jeff.
When Jeff asks Debbie, "How will tonight's vote change this game?" she fails to answer, "Well, I won't be in it anymore," though she does say, "I do think it will be a surprise." Well yes, to her it will be.
The Dorkmeister voted for Taj. I hope he is seated next to Eddie George on the flight home.
Debbie's last act in the game is to stab her since-day-one ally Voldetool in the back. Of course, she's left swinging in the wind, having cast the only vote for him. (Not counting mine!)
I'll give Debbie this; she was a good sport about getting blindsided. If - No! - WHEN...) Dragon Breath is blindsided, vengeance will be vowed. Mark my words.
Since Dork Vader voted for Taj, and everyone else voted for Debbie, they wreaked his revenge for him, but the only good moment was Dork Vader's face when Debbie's vote for him was read. She voted for me while she was being voted out, taking her safely away from me? Coward!
In the preview of next week, we heard Dork Vader say, "Hit me with your best shot, Pat Benatar." Will she be a guest mentor for the week, like on American Idol? Because otherwise, I have no idea what he's blathering about, which is something he and I have in common. But Pat, if you're there, please do hit him.
Until then, cheers, Pat Benatar.
To read more of Tallulah Morehead, go to
The Morehead the Merrier.